Images de Femmes held at the Rialto Theatre was the biggest ever. I arrived a few minutes late to find myself darting around to find a suitable perch to take pictures, but all the best places were taken. The downstairs appeared to be filled to capacity, so I headed up to the balcony. Unfortunately, it took a little time to find a decent vantage point and I had to rush around through Suzy Tremblay's performance, the opening act. She certainly had the crowd in her hands.
Leila Marshy, Marie Cornellier and Kathryn Harvey officially opened the show with Kathryn giving some particularly dire statistics about women and work, and women and power. Yes, it was a much needed reminder--women have always made up the 99%.
There were very two colourful dances by KOMACHI Montreal accompanied by Yuki Isami, who later gave a solo performance on the shinobue. It was followed by Linda Morrison, Robin Gorn, Alice Cantine and Louise Dessertine singing the haunting, I Give Thanks, an original composition by Louise Dessertine. Next, the incredibly photogenic Marie Cornellier paid tribute to local designer Katrin Leblond, as Marie had her clothes changed on stage.
There are many multi-talented women performers in the Mile End. In addition, to a hilarious and moving spoken word performance by Leila Marshy, the Mile End was treated to the beautiful sounds of the Choeur Maha, directed by Kathy Kennedy. Choeur Maha also accompanied some stunning performances by versatile performers Linda Morrison and Robin Gorn.
There were also some refreshing new performers: the beatbox and body percussion of IOA, and the beautiful sounds of Odaya, a native women's drumming group. As always, the fine acoustics of the Rialto offered the perfect venue.
After I edited the following video, I had the pleasure of hearing Love Shakin the Fences (Robin Gorn) and Mile Marbhphaisg air a’Ghaol (Linda Morrison), all week in my head.
They were certainly more welcome than the AM radio hits that are usually rattling around in there.
This was a highly entertaining evening, and I can only imagine what next year, the 20th Images de Femmes, has in store.
Special thanks to Marilyn Montblanch for all her hard work in putting this event together.
Other related links:
Images de Femmes 2010
Images de Femmes 2011
Images de Femmes at Rialto Theatre 2011
19th Images de Femmes 2012